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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  October 1, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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in what they pay their workers, inevitably you know he's going to be asked about how else businesses should be allowed to discriminate. inevitably todd akin is going to be asked about segregated lunch counters. what do you think he's going to say to that? do you want to bet? are you sure you absolutely support todd akin's candidacy? noi it's time for ""the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. now paul ryan says they don't have enough time to explain how they will change your tax deductions, like your home mortgage tax deduction, in the romney/ryan tax plan. not enough time. they can't even say if you will pay more or less with their tax plan. well, mitt, i'm sure president obama will give you as many of
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his minutes as you need to explain it all in wednesday night's debate. >> mitt romney needs a great october. >> we know romney needs a great october. >> to change the course of this campaign. >> the final push is on. >> just days away from the first presidential debate. >> both candidates cramming for the first debate. >> everyone trying to lower expectations. >> franticly spinning to lower expectations. >> >> president obama is an experienced debatetor. >> i'm just okay. >> almost everyone seems to be muting enthusiasm in trying to undersell thvernlths is mitt's first time. >> i don't buy that. >> chris christie is taking a different tack. >> we have a candidate who is going to do extraordinary well on wednesday night. come thursday morning when we get to thursday morning, the entire narrative of this race is going to change. >> this is mitt's first time. >> are you stupid? >> overselling with gus tow. >> chris christie said the next
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day will be romney's time to shine. >> don't expect any zingers. >> governor romney is getting by on a zing and prayer. >> i don't know that zingers necessarily turn it around. >> that zinger and that line that gets replayed over and over again. >> if we don't run chris christie, romney will be the candidate and will lose. >> style is substance. >> wouldn't it just be easier to have a hot dog eating contest and call it a day? anyone? >> that's not helping. >> with 36 days until the presidential election and 47 hours in the debate the pressure is mounting. bill o'reilly tried to tell republicans to calm down about the debate. that they're expecting way too
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much of mitt romney. but this being bill o'reilly, he ended up putting even more pressure on romney. >> i think the expectations for the debate are too high. particularly conservative republican americans are expecting mitt romney to go out there and do something and i don't know whether that as even possible right now. the first debate means everything. the whole world is watching this thing. this is a big, big debate on wednesday night. this is much bigger than the mccain-obama debate. >> today mitt romney traveled from boston to colorado where the debate will be held as a major player in romney's fund raiser confirmed to fox business that a few new york donors have backed away from financial commitments to the romney campaign and instead said they will spend their money to help the republicans hold on to the house of represents and pick up
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seats in the senate. the debates will be very important, said one person with knowledge of the matter. if romney does well, that money could come back. new jersey's governor, chris christie the current front runner for the presidential nomination 2016 has decided his job is to state the obvious. >> it's a huge night. we've had a bad couple of weeks and we want to turn this around and if you want to turn it around you've got to perform on the stage. they try to say the president is not that good a debater or mitt romney is a little scared of the president. those are the professional consultants and politicians who get paid to spin you guys. that's not what my job is. it's a big night. >> on sunday, chris christie promised a completely changed political universe by thursday. >> and this whole race is going to be turned upside down come thursday morning.
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i have absolute confidence that when we get to thursday morning you're going to be shaking your heads it's a brand new race. >> i think you're going to see those numbers start to move right back in the right direction. >> on the fox news paul ryan played the traditional game of deemphasizing the importance of the debates. >> i don't think one event is going to make or break this campaign. president obama is a very gifted speaker. the man has been on the national stage for many years. he's an experienced debater, he's done these kinds of debates before. this is mitt's first time on this kind of a stage. >> here's president obama's last word on sunday as he headed into the debate prep in nevada. >> governor romney is a good debatetor. i'm just okay. but what i'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to
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do to keep the country growing and restore security for hard-working americans. that's what people are going to be listening for. that's the debate that you deserve. >> a new national washington post poll of likely voters shows president obama polling at 49% and mitt romney at 47% but among likely voters in the swing states, president obama leads mitt romney by 11 points. 52%-41%. tonight the forecast is president obama will within 320 ele electoral college votes. joining me now is steve and karen. karen, the expectation game has gotten really out of hand this time.
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finally chris christie, for whatever reason, just kind of gave up and stated the obvious and said well, of course. you know, mitt romney has to be the big winner on this first debate. >> well, i think he was like look, let me keep my credibility in check because he's been watching what has happened to congressman ryan over the course of this campaign. but i think each man has a different thing they need to accomplish. i think for governor romney he needs to have a strong performan performance. it's not just about one performance for him. his problem is a lack of consistency. he's got to have a good wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday. every day to the election. if you see him give one good performance and the next day they're off message, it's more of what we've seen the bumbling along throughout the campaign. and i think for president obama the challenge is, as my former boss howard dean said, don't get irritable. it's going to be hard when
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governor romney is going to try to get him with his little zingers, to not get annoyed at the lack of searsneriousness an lack of actual facts. so i think most of us at this point are expecting, romney can have a mediocre performance and i think he will get good spin the next day. >> steve, the romney campaign is up against another difficulty in the poll which is the public's actual expectation at this point. the "washington post" poll shows that among likely voters, 55% of them expect president obama to win the debate. 31% expect mitt romney to win the debate. and presumably that expectation will color the way those viewers watch that debate. >> yeah. it could. i mean, maybe this is the one risk maybe the biggest risk for the obama campaign that if the bar is set that high, if there's
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sort of an even match, if romney kind of holds his own, isn't clearly blown out of the water or anything like that, that people say he exceeded expectations. so what looked like a draw ends up being interpreted by the viewers or the media, or if the media is looking to sell the horse race angles, maybe they start portraying the draw as a romney win. the expectations for his performance were so low, kennedy outdebated romney but the effect of that was mogfied because the expectations were so low. that might be the biggest risk here for the obama people that the expectations of the voters and probably the press too that obama will win. so maybe nothing short of a clear win can be a little problematic for them.
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>> let's consider what some conservatives are saying. let's start with bill crystal and what he had to say about the debate. >> every liberal professor i read or her advice is to be likable. you have to take care of your likability. forget it. it's too late for that. they both did well, it was so nice to have a respectful debate. they all got along. that's over. he's got to get under president obama's skin and really clarify the choice ahead. >> so karen finney, forget about being likable. don't try to get gentlemenly compliments after the debate. just go after the present as hard as you can. >> clearly bill crystal thinks that is not a winning proposition for governor romney am i do think that romney needs to be relatable, and em pathetic which so far has been very difficult for him. he needs to not come off as i'm up here and you're the 47%, you
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silly people, the way he can at times. and he probably needs to deny himself the instinct, there have been times on the campaign trail where he tried to be likable and he talked about knowing the owners of the nascar team and the ownersfort football team. but i think he does need to show the president a level of respect. i don't think that independent voters will want to see romney sort of nipg at the president too much. he is sitting there with the president of the united states of america. >> let's listen to what george had to say who is always at his best when he's making republicans uncomfortable. in his column he said this is something he would like to hear at the debates. to mitt romney he would like to hear it said you say restriction
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has never been a characteristic of america. you're kidding, right? is restriction not one purpose of progressive taxation? is not most of what government does, from agriculture subsidies to subsidized student loans to entitlements, the restriction of well the from one cohort or region to another? thank you george will. steve, i've been trying to explain that to mitt romney that every form of taxation is restriction. i, too, would love to hear him called on that one. >> yeah. if we're talking about the whole restriction in this debate tomorrow night, i think it's a symptom of a broader problem for mitt romney and that is we're basically talking about the stuff that he's been talking about to appeal to the republican base. the idea that obama is a restrictioni restrictionist, this is something that has emerged within the base of the republican party that animates them but we have seen that for
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four years. that image of obama does not have resonance with the swing voters. so romney has been pitching that to the base and he continues to talk about it and his campaign continues to put it out there. if you're talking about that in the debate you're not winning over swing voters and that's not romney's challenge at this point. >> karen finney, the columnist has said to romney go big. i really, you know, i'm struggling. i can't really imagine what going big would look like for mitt romney in the debate. i mean, seriously. what would he say that would be big and new in that debate? >> well, and also what would he say that would be big, new and credible in that debate. romney has two really key problems here. number one, he is, himself all over the map in terms of i'm going to, you know, repeal this. i'm going to keep that. so his trying to go big, he has to stay consistent.
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the other challenge he has, appealing to the base, we know what that means, we know who shows voters are. and we know the dog whistles they're going to want to hear. how does he say things that send signals to that group of people while still appealing to the moderate and independent voters. you can't go big and walk that balance. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. >> sure. >> thanks. >> coming up, the newest excuse mitt romney and paul ryan are giving for not being specific about their tax plan. and paul ryan made a big misstep this weekend by telling the truth about mitt romney's mississippi step. and in the rewrite, the lies of arnold swarz neger exposed. not by the media but by him in his new book and in his 60 minutes interview last night. by the way, who is the one,
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. paul ryan foolishly set mitt romney up for a big fail in wednesday night's debate by claiming that no one, no one wants to hear the math on the romney/ryan tax plan. sam stein and jonathan cape heart will join me. and arnold schwarzenegger in the rewrite tonight.
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. the problem we've had is not everybody knows all the specification we've put out there. not everybody knows these plans, our five-point plan for a stronger middle class. >> of course no one knows the specifics of mitt romney and paul ryan's tax plan because they haven't given any specifics. even fox news chris wallace wants more details on how the romney/ryan tax plan would actually work. >> well, how much would it cost? >> it's revenue neutral. >> we'll get to the deductions, but the cut in tax rates. >> the cut in tax rates is lower all americans' tax rates by 20%. >> how much does that cost. >> it's revenue neutral. >> it's not revenue neutral unless you take away from the deduction. the first half lowering the tax
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rates, does that cost $5 trillion? >> no. i won't get into a baseline argument with you because that's what a lot of this is about. >> you haven't given me the math. >> well, i don't have the -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math. let me say it this way. you can lower tax rates by 20% across the board, by closing loop who else and stul have preferences for the middle class for things like charitable deductions for home purchases, for health care. >> that was yesterday. here's paul ryan's new excuse for giving no specifics. >> look, the point, you know, i like chris. i didn't want to get into all the math of this because everybody would start changing the channel. >> joining me now, two men who promise not to change the chabl when it comes to the romney/ryan campaign specifics. sam stein msnbc contributor and jonathan capeheart, msnbc
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contributor. jonathan this has become truly absurd watching romney say the reasons why he can't get into the he can't get into the deductions on your tax returns. first there's not enough time to explain it. then he fears if he did explain it it would be so borg. people are so uninterested in what would actually be on their own tax return. they got to have something better for wednesday night, don't they? >> yeah. they're going to have to. one of the complaints about this, about this campaign, both against president obama and also governor mitt romney is the lock of specifics about all of these plans that both men have actually what does the president want to do for his second term, but for mitt romney, how are you going to do all these things. i have to give chris wallace a
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lot of credit for pushing ryan where do you get the $5 trillion from. it's not enough to say it's revenue neutral. where is that coming from? quite frankly it's not enough to say i don't have enough time to get into all that or i'm afraid i'm going to put people to sleep. well you know what, the people who are watching the debates and fox news sunday are the people who have the time to sit there and listen to you go into wants sylvania to talk about those things. they can't get away with this for much longer. >> but the thing is, jonathan and sam, it's not wonky. it's very simple. if you're going to cut all income rates by 20%. which is, as chris wallace who was great in that interview that we just saw, chris wallace was right, that cost $5 trillion. just tell us how much and how you're going to cut that whole mortgage deduction and the other ducks. we will sit here and listen to
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it. it's really easy, in fact, sam, and it seems to me that this is all now part of the unmasking of paul ryan. the so-called serious man. he doesn't actually have any answers, sam. >> well, first of all, it is easy and we know it's easy because this is mitt romney's second position on text policy. this was a revision of his earlier position in the primary. he wanted to simplify it, make it more appealing to primary voters and so he said okay let's do a 20% across the board rate reduction and we'll fill in the gaps eliminating some deductions and exemptions. keep in mind that the american public are too bored by this. two weeks ago the senior adviser for the romney campaign said people are ready to know about the policies. that's when he said we're going to fill in the details. obviously they haven't done that. but you're right. it's very simple. you just have to make the math up. but they realize as soon as they
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name one deduction or one exemption that they're going to be attacked for it and they're going to try to do it until the very day of the election. >> i really crack up when i hear paul ryan use the word baseline, as if it's a very heavy, technical term that if we get into anything involving this word "baseline", everybody is going to get confused. when mac fact baseline has absolutely nothing to do with the question in any way. it seems to me, it sounds like it's the only technical budget term ryan seems to know. >> it sounds like what he's trying to say is they expect their tax cuts to generate economic growth and of course cbo won't take that into consideration. therefore there's no way to properly score the tax policy that they're putting forward. but that doesn't excuse them not actually offering the specifics on the exemptions and deductions especially from a ticket that prieds themselves on being the tough truth tellers.
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they've also put out two different messages with respect to what they're going to do if the tax paying doesn't add up. the economic adviser to the campaign said recently if they can't find the deductions in the exemptions they will lower the size of the tax cut. however i was on the trail in ohio a couple of days ago where mitt romney in front of a crowd told them not to expect too much tax relief. he said we're going to lower the rates but people are going to be paying more because they're going to be eliminating exemptions and deductions. the message is even the middle class people would end up losing exemptions and deductions. he wouldn't say it on the record, but that would be a huge change in policy. >> and jonathan, ryan has said we won't compromise on the rate cut. we will definitely do the rate cut and that just means they're going to have to make it up somewhere else. so they've got a minimum of three different ways of doing this. conservative thought leader bill crystal is real worried. he sees them as losing the
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debate. let's listen to what he said to said. >> they talked themselves into being a little too risk averse. if we put a number out there, it's going to be in all the ads. he's got to be mature and sebsible. assume the american public is ready to hear hard truths. it's crazy for him to be losing a tax debate. the republicans aren't going to win the presidency if you can't rin a tax debate. >> democrats cheering national security. yeah, bill crystal gives mitt romney excellent advice and if he were to take it, he would box the president into a corner, he would say here's my number, what's yours. >> i disagree for one point. in poll after poll what you see is that limiting the bush tax cuts for people over $250,000
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polls extremely well. people are largely supportive of letting those tax cuts lapse and extending them for people below 250, 200,000 per individual. there's a reason obama is winning the tax cut argument is because people like to favor his tax plain. >> sam stein and jonathan capeheart, thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks. >> coming up, with 36 days to go until the election, we will once again talk about the number one reason to vote for president. and paul ryan's job is to change the subject from the 47% scandal. so why did paul ryan bring up the 47% scandal yesterday on fox news?
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of course dave doesn't hate romney. but the romney campaign is making a huge mistake with dave, who had this to say about mitch romney on friday night. >> the current president, president obama was on the show last week. the challenger, mitch romney has not been on the show. we have asked him to be on the show. we have any night, any time,
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short notice, whenever he wants, he can be on the show. he's got 39 days. i don't want to persuade anybody unnecessarily, but if he's not here in 39 days, don't vote for him. >> coming up, one of paul ryan's jbs is to help people forget about mitch romney's 47% comment but ryan stumbled and brought it up yesterday on fox news. he really did. . in the rewrite tonight, now everyone knows what they should have known when he should have announced his political candidacy. arnold schwarzenegger is a clown and a liar. and arnold finally agrees with me that he is stupid. a word he just used to describe himself tonight on hannit the stupid liar, arnold
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schwarzenegger is in tonight's rewrite.
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>> with your help, we will win
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florida. with your help, we'll represent 100% of the american people still. and with your help, we will win this election! >> in the spotlight tonight, the problem that won't go away. mitt romney's 47% problem. on sunday, it was paul ryan's turn to try to defend this. >> there are 4% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they're victims, who believe the government has a responsibility who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name i. they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. >> and here is how paul ryan responded. >> in the course of those conversations you've admitted the campaign has made missteps.
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>> i think first of all 47%, mitt acknowledges that was an inarticulate way that mitt to describe what we're trying to do to create prosperity and upward mobility and reduce dependency by getting people off welfare and back to work. but at the end of the day the choice is really clear and we're giving people a clear choice. >> so, in talking about the romney campaign's missteps, paul ryan missteps by reminding everyone of the 47% misstep. joining me now is nia henderson "the washington post." chris wallace invited paul ryan to talk about the missteps. >> i didn't have any reason to go there.
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and from the romney campaign's perspective, they very much want to have a sort of hands-off approach to this 47% misstep, call it what you want. they're preparing to essentially say mitt romney cares about 100% of americans. all americans. the problem of course with that is it just remind you of the 47%. we've seen a real damage that this comment has done to the romney campaign. obviously the obama campaign and dem crates have seized on it with these powerful ads and that's what's shocking about the staying power of this ad. every time you see it it's so powerfully shocking. it still has a power to invoke anger and real motion. obama is certainly seizing on that and we'll see how romney deals with it going forward. >> i hear it freshly every time i hear it. those words are amazing and you don't get used to it. as much as it's paul ryan's job
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to try and make us forget about that comment, it is joe biden's job to never let us forget about it. let's listen to him this weeke in florida. >> the american people are so much better, so much stronger, take so much more responsibility than these guys give him request for. how can governor romney have such a profound misunderstanding to the people of this country? folks, i've got news for governor romney. i've got news for congressman ryan. america is neither in decline and it's never been a good bet to bet against the american people. they have never let this country down. >> all right, joe biden seems to know exactly how to use that 47% comment to the greatest effect. >> big ups to joe biden for
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rocking the polo shirt. i can't think of the last time someone on a ticket has made such a bold choice. look at the contrast here between joe biden who's setting the issues on the table and paul ryan who frankly doesn't look very gracious when you're asked about missteps on the ticket, if you want to do anything, and i think this is communications and politics 101, if you want to do anything talk about your own missteps. you're the number 2 guy. you're not there to remind people about how your boss made a big error that wasn't just style but was also substance. >> paul ryan was also asked why the romney/ryan team is trailing in the polls. let's listen to his response to that. >> it kind of goes without saying that there is definitely media bias. i think most people in main stream media are left of center and therefore they want a left of center president versus the conservative president like mitt
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romney. >> the old blame the media. you know you're in trouble when you blame the media for where your campaign is. >> the fox news is essentially saying the same time. that they are behind in polls. they show the same sort of spread that nbc has, that pew has, that "the washington post" has. but this is a campaign in a tailspin. they're going to try to right the ship on wednesday. but if you look at the numbers, a lot of the damage was done over the summer when the obama campaign decided early on to define mitt romney as a plutokrat, someone out of touch with the main stream and romney doubles down on obama's strategy with this video that came out. so they're in a real situation here and they've got a short time to right it. >> it's offensive if you unpack and think about it. what he's saying is we're all
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stupid. we don't remember that the polls have shown republicans up a lot. and secondly this idea that people in the media, if their personal views go one way, the product of the reporting goes another way. i don't think there's resonating with the public at all. if you go back to important media failures like the iraq war or the financial crisis, on iraq there may have been a lot of reporters who were personally skeptical but there was a collective media failure in the way they covered it. so the idea that someone's personal views are always going to represent them in what they write or how they report, i don't think that computes, i think you would have to be dumb or tuned out to buy the crap that paul ryan is peddling there. >> and then there's the question of who is the real arnold schwarzenegger. thank you for joining me. >> thank you lawrence.
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>> was that the only affair? >> no. you know, that's something that's obviously between maria and me. >> she knew? >> yeah. >> so it's a recurring issue? with you. >> i'm not perfect. >> that's arnold schwarzenegger rewriting his image from perfect to not perfect. it took schwarzenegger getting caught having an affair and a child with one of the family's maids to force him to admit that he is not perfect. some of us already knew that. some of us knew arnold schwarzenegger was a clown and knew it for a very long time. his wife's aunt jacqueline kennedy onassis spoke for many of us said i loathe everything that man stands for.
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lying comes naturally to schwarzenegger for a long time. he lied his way into the governorship into california claiming it's easy. he ran a dumbed down campaign against the state's $22 billion death. he campaigned with a broom which he used to symbolize how easy it would be to sweep away the mess. and the political media fell for it. he was not exposed as the sarah palin no-nothing that he was. he was treated with un-earned respect and his campaign was fleefully welcomed by the media as refreshing. he was regarded as a political star. and when he was elected there was serious talk in the political media of changing the united states constitution to allow foreign born naturalized citizens to run for president of
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the united states. the republican party was very proud of their new star. >> ladies and gentlemen, america is back. we are back because of the perseverance, character and leadership of the 43rd president of the united states, george w. bush. >> thanks to his sheer incompetence, schwarzenegger quickly became a very unpopular governor and managed to salvage his re-election campaign by abandoning the republicans and adopting the democrats. he ended up tripling the state's debt. i, for one, don't blame schwarzenegger for any of that. schwarzenegger has always, very plainly and publicly, been a
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clown. i blame the political media for not treating him as such. political pundits spend endless hours analyzing and judging the character of our politicians. please, always remember that the very worst public practitioners of judging character are political pundits. they have been presented with two very simple intelligence tests in this regard in the last few years. first schwarzenegger the clown, then trump the clown. and the political media has failed both of those political intelligence tests. it may be that i stand alone tonight as the only american political pundit, the only public judge of political character who has never said a good word about either arnold
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schwarzenegger or donald trump. not one word. the political media that found grounds to praise arnold, and that praise did not just come from the republican side of the political media. the political media that helped arnold go from a goofy groper on movie sets to governor of california has been silent about arnold simply because they've discovered he had a child out of wednesday lock. something that was not even mildly shocking or surprising to people who actually have some ability to judge characters like arnold schwarzenegger. and so the schwarzenegger follies should stand as a memorable lesson to you, the close followers of politics.
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when political pundits talk about the character of candidates, when they try to tell you something about the character of candidates, they absolutely never have any idea what they're talking about. never. customer erin swenson bought from us online today. so, i'm happy. sales go up... i'm happy. it went out today... i'm happy. what if she's not home? (together) she won't be happy. use ups! she can get a text alert, reroute... even reschedule her package. it's ups my choice. are you happy? i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics.
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snoof and now once again, the number one reason to vote for president. the united states supreme court. that's right. appointing the members of the court that decide the constitutionality of health care reform and sometimes actually decide who the president will be ask is the singlemost important
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reason to vote for president. four of the current supreme court's justices are in their 70s. the oldest is 79, justice scalia is 76. the all important swing vote kennedy is 75 and justice breyer is 74. mitt romney now thinks that conservative justice roberts might not be conservative enough to be appointed by a president romney. >> you say on your website that you would nominate justices in the mold of the chief justice john roberts. now that he's voted to uphold this law, would you still knowing what we know now, nominate a justice like john roberts? >> well, i certainly wouldn't nominate someone who i knew was going to come out with a decision that i rehemently
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disagreed with. >> joining me now is jeffrey toobin. voting for the united states senator is the number one reason to vote for them since they confirm these nominations. i just want to show you a moment that just occurred in the massachusetts senate debate tonight between scott brown and elizabeth warren. let's listen to that. >> who's your model supreme court justice? >> let me see here. that's a great question. i think justice scalia is a very good judge. justice kennedy. the i think they're very qualified people there. >> >> miss warren who would be your model supreme court justice. >> i think it would probably be elena kagan. >> jeff toobin, it seemed
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elizabeth warren got that right the first time. we saw scott brown move from left to right. >> it looked like he was sort of randomly picking names out of the sky. the justices who had absolutely nothing to do with each other elizabeth warren, her boss on the harvard law faculty was dean elena kagan have a long history together. >> and it seemed like scott brown wasn't ready for that answer. he was a practicing lawyer in massachusetts. to not be actively thinking about the supreme court as a senator is a little surprising to me. >> well, and to say that you're favorite justices are sotomayor and scalia among several hours that he named. there is a huge difference between those justices.
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that is the difference between roe v. wade being overturned or being upheld. to say you all like tm equally shows you don't really know what you're talking about. >> what is your guess about how many justices you think might be replaced in the next presidential term? >> well, justices leave when they can. during the presidency of presidents they like. this is something they all acknowledge. ruth ginsburg i think will leave if barack obama is re-elected. the question now is because you have four justiceness their 70s, the question of choice is not the only reason people leave. i mean, they're getting old. they may have to leave. so you're looking at four justices who are at least in the ballpark of, you know, being too old to


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